Sunday, August 4, 2019

Book Review: Stepping Heavenward

Reading this novel is like seeing a video timeline of a Christian woman’s life, showing her development from youth to maturity. Written as a dated journal, you will relate to Katherine’s emotional ups and downs—her youthful petulance, her heartbreak over a broken engagement, her peevishness with her husband, her crankiness with her children, her struggles with health and her disappointment at her own lack of Christian maturity.

In her journal, Katherine shares her private thoughts. With honesty and humor, she exposes the complexity of human nature as she struggles to grow in faith.

Set in the 1800s, Katherine garners advice as she travels the path of life. When she complains about difficult people in her life, a friend advises God has two reasons for allowing it: “One would be the good they might do me. The other the good I might do them.” The book is chockful of such food for thought.

Forced to take in her husband’s relatives, Katherine struggles with the burden it places on her household. Over a sick child, she ponders turning her daughter over to the Lord: “Could I refuse Him my child because she was the very apple of my eye? Nay then, but let me give to Him, not what I value least, but what I prize and delight in most. Could I not endure heart-sickness for Him who had given His only Son for me!”

As you turn the pages, you watch a mature woman’s feelings settle as love to Christ becomes her guiding principle. As her home becomes more peaceful, she muses: “Is the change all in Ernest? Is it not possible that I have grown more reasonable, less childish and aggravating?”

Author Elizabeth Prentiss includes includes a discussion guide for personal reflection or to share with a group.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because Katherine so openly and honestly reflected the thoughts and feelings that mark our days as we strive to grow in Christ through every age and stage of life.

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